Boujee on a Budget: The Best Hotel in Siem Reap!
Riversoul, you are a dream!
This past January, my husband & I spent a month traveling SE Asia. Along the way, we took 11 flights, stayed in 15 different hotels/airbnbs, used 4 different currencies and had diarrhea in at least 20 different toilets!
All jokes aside, (even though I'm not really joking), the trip was truly magical! Cambodia was the third country on our list where we stayed four nights in Siem Reap visiting a close college friend of mine who's now an expat that runs the Mad Monkey Hostel in Kampot. I knew what type of monkey business (cheesy pun) we'd be getting into with him so when I pre-booked our hotel, I made sure to choose something on the nicer side to make morning recovery a little easier.
That's when I found Riversoul Residence and my life was forever changed, or at least my expectations were because this shit is so affordable and SO EXTRA at the same time! It's everything you want in a hotel and here's why:
- BEST SERVICE
- BEST POOL
- BEST ROOM
- BEST LOCATION
The staff at Riversoul are some of the loveliest most pleasant people I have ever met. They are ready and waiting to provide whatever you may need whenever you may need it and while doing so, they always smile and place their palms together at their nose, and bow their heads at you. This is called Sampeah in Cambodia and Wai in Thailand and it's a beautiful custom. They made us feel like we were part of their family.
We arrived lookin' like worn out homeless people after a late night partying in Penang and a long hellish wait at the airport surrounded by an unruly child in the type of shoes that squeak loudly with each step and a Dunkin' Donuts that WASN'T EVEN OPEN (even though their sign said it would be). Like I said, HELLISH! But the second we arrived at Riversoul, all that was washed away when we were greeted with two cool towels to wipe our faces and some sort of sweet mint tea to wet our dry-like-the-dessert-mouths from the 5 hour flight and 30 minute tuk-tuk ride. Next, we were given a tour of the hotel and a special surprise upgrade to a POOLSIDE SUITE! I had booked the most basic room they offer, so this was an amazing surprise, and it didn't stop there. We were shown to our suite and upon entering, they had placed flower petals all over our bed and in our bathroom sinks as a special welcome for our honeymoon. Talk about ABOVE and BEYOND! I would go back to Siem Reap just to stay at Riversoul again!
Ahhhhh the glorious, glorious pool! Where do I start? Pristine water, long-boat shaped lounge chairs, poolside service at your beck and call, and we were the ONLY ONES at the pool throughout our entire stay...what a DREAM! There is nothing better than dipping into a refreshing pool after a long debaucherous night out drinking on Pub Street. It cured us. The mojitos and beers helped too. This hotel made the best mojito I've had outside of Key West! And all we had to do was simply open our hotel door, take 5 steps, and we were in the pool with a waiter coming to take our order. Can you say, BOUJEE?
As I mentioned before, they upgraded our room to a poolside suite and it did not disappoint. The room was beautifully decorated and included the best shower we had in all of SE Asia, a comfortable queen sized bed, a sitting room and a TV...lol who watches TV when they're in Cambodia? It was amazing to walk into this luxurious suite after a full day exploring Siem Reap and Angkor Wat. Siem Reap is experiencing a lot of growth, the streets are chaos, no traffic signals to be found anywhere. It's wild. But then we would come home to this oasis and we were transported to a whole new world.
After one night experiencing the craziness of Pub Street, I realized how thrilled I was that we were located across the river, but still a super short tuk tuk ride away. In a matter of minutes, we could immerse ourselves in chaos or simply retreat back to our calm and quiet oasis at Riversoul. Throughout our entire stay, there was a tuk tuk ready and waiting to take us wherever we wanted to go and the hotel staff was gracious enough to help translate when need be. Khmer is such an interesting language but incredibly hard to pick up in such a short time! My trusty standby was Thank You, pronounced Aw-Koon. Never let me down.
I wished we could have spent more time in Cambodia to truly explore all the country has to offer now that it's finally coming out of the horrible atrocities of war that have ravaged its land for many years. I definitely plan on coming back to visit Kampot, but after four nights in Siem Reap with my college buddy, our livers were screaming at us, "Time to move on"!
If you go to Siem Reap, here's some stops you don't want to miss!
- George's Rhumerie
- Phare, The Cambodian Circus
- Sister Srey Café - say hello to Cas for me!
- Ta Prohm & Bayon - my two favorite temple ruins. Unbelievably amazing.
- Dr. Fish Massage
- $3 haircuts and $5-$10 massages!